Inspiration For The Twenty-Something From My Favorite MLK Quotes


Living as a twenty-something in this day and age is a beautiful struggle. Unfortunately, most see it as solely a struggle, or a challenge… a series of unfortunate events that are strung together to cause us pain, heartache, and frustration. But we are not in this alone. We are in this together, and in that we should find great comfort. We experience the same defeat but in different ways, just as we experience the same victories in different ways.

We’re all seeking a lively youth and adulthood at the same time. We’re all seeking love, whether it’s sought through another or through ourselves. We all are constantly confused, living in a state of uncertainty and certainty, where we do or don’t question our actions, our thoughts, goals and dreams.

Sometimes all we need is a little inspiration. I take great comfort in deriving inspiration from great people, and Martin Luther King Jr. was indeed one of those incredibly inspiring people.


“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: Only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: Only love can do that.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

We all struggle through dark times, but in those dark times, you will not succeed by choosing pessimism or negativity. You will not succeed by choosing a stand still life, taking no action. You will only succeed in choosing to be positive, hopeful and courageous. You must choose to turn the light on to rid your life of darkness.

It’s easy to sit in the dark, afraid to make a move for fear of what you can’t see. But all you need is the courage to turn the light on. Once you find the light, once you turn that light on, you’ll see clearly what was in front of you the whole time. And maybe it will be scary, but even if it is, at least you have the ability to see it now. If you have the courage to turn on the light, you have the courage to face whatever is in your way. As for hate, you cannot rid your life of hatred with more hate. It will change nothing. But if you try and shower hate with love…

Maybe you won’t make a mark, but at least the love that you are giving will shower your soul with the affirmation that you have chosen love instead of hate.

A life of hate is burden and a struggle, but a life of love is freeing. And shower your own self with love as well. We often come to times in our life where we hate ourselves, or feel hate towards our self or our decisions. Shower yourself with love and forgiveness, and you will notice your self-hate slowly begin to dissipate.


“The time is always right, to do what is right.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

No matter what you are told is right or wrong, you have to always choose to do what YOU think is right. If you do what you feel is right, then how could the choice be wrong?

Morally I suppose, we can make, “bad,” decisions, but ultimately we have to choose what we feel is right for our self.

Ultimately life is composed of choices that we are responsible for making. They will not always be easy… in fact, most of them will probably be really, really hard, but we have to make them.

Don’t fear making a choice that you feel will benefit you if it doesn’t seem like the right choice. As long as you’re making it because you feel it is right for you, you will never be wrong.

And hey, if you end up choosing something that brings you unhappiness, or trouble, uncertainty, or doubt… just know that you have the choice to change that too.


“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

The average twenty-something millennial focuses much of his or her time on the self.

But is that a bad thing?

I think by focusing on your self, by fostering a purposeful, loving, kind inner being that you will automatically be doing more for others than you are aware of.

Nobody wants to be around negative people or negative energy. Improve your self in a positive way, and you improve the lives of others the same. Positivity and happiness, hope and joy, love, and kindness go a long way and they are acts of charity that come naturally. These charitable acts often make the biggest impact.

Focus on being a positive light and let that light shine on every one around you. You won’t even have to try, it will just happen.


“Let no man pull you low enough to hate him.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

Have enemies? Have somebody you’re not too fond of, or that you don’t get along with?

Forgive them.

Don’t give them your time, or energy, but give them the decency of an acknowledging smile or nod if you pass them by.

You do not need to treat them with disrespect just because they are not one of your friends, or because you are not their biggest fan.

Maybe they have done wrong to you, or your family, or someone close to you, but there is no reason to carry their burden on your shoulders.

You have your own life to worry about, there’s no need to worry about theirs too. Let them live their life in struggle, and you live your life abiding by means of kindness and forgiveness.


“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

No matter what obstacle is in your path, or what struggle you are handed, always move forward.

Don’t fear what lies in your path ahead. Instead, choose to have the courage to continue to move forward, no matter what it is you may face. You’ll never truly know what lies ahead until you move close enough to see it. If you keep falling, get back up and choose to push forward again and again.

If you fall back and you let yourself stay there, you’ll never know what you could’ve endured. Live a life of risk by means of courage and you will find more success than the one who lives a life of fear afraid to try.

Knowing that you had the courage to keep moving forward in the face of the unknown is everything that should make you proud. That is courage.

That is what our twenty-something lives should be all about. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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